September 30, 2005

Question Answered

I had to go to for the answer to this question:

If the Indians sweep the White Sox to tie them for the Central Division lead with identical records, the White Sox are declared the division winner based on a better head-to-head record during the season.

However, if the Red Sox win two out of three games against the Yankees this weekend, tying them for the AL East lead with identical records, they will play a one-game playoff for the AL East title.

What's up with that? Here's the answer...

The reason the White Sox and Indians wouldn't play a one-game playoff is because, with the Red Sox and Yankees playing each other this weekend, one team would be guaranteed to finish out of the playoffs if the Indians swept the White Sox. And in instances in which teams are guaranteed to make the playoffs, MLB does not use a one-game playoff, instead relying on head-to-head matchups to break the tie.

Hey, I didn't say it was a good rule, but it's the rule. If a team has the playoffs made anyway, MLB figures why go through the trouble and expense of staging a playoff game, you know, just to determine something silly like who won the damn division.

Dumb. They should play Game #163. If it's the way the AL East title is decided, it should be the way the AL Central title is decided. The Indians would be prevented a chance to win their division outright because they went and got more wins than any second place team in the American League. With a first place record, they would be penalized for being better than the second place teams in the other divisions.

I repeat. Dumb.

An Indians blog called has a post outlining all the possibilities.

Posted by dan at September 30, 2005 1:11 AM